Injuries at the airport can happen for many reasons to both employees and travelers. Unfamiliar terrain, distractions, ever-changing signs and uneven jetways present dangers to even the most careful airport travelers. However, tripping or slipping in the terminal, jetway, or on the airport operations area (“AOA”) does not necessarily mean the airport authority or airline is responsible for the injuries sustained.
For an injured airline traveler to recover damages for injuries sustained by tripping or falling, there must have been some negligence on the part of the airline or airport authority. In other words, the airline or airport authority must have been negligent, or failed to take proper care, in the maintenance or design of the jetway, tram, hallway or airport surface.
Where an airline’s failure to clean, maintain, or warn of a dangerous condition leads to a traveler’s physical injuries, that individual may have a viable claim against the air carrier.
Since trip and fall accidents at airports are frequently due to a design defect on the surface, or a failure to warn of slippery or other dangerous substances, many cases are also against the airport authority. Passengers’ falls caused by ice, snow or de-icer overspray on slippery steps can lead to successful claims for reimbursement for medical bills, time off work, and other harms if the corporate defendants knew of the dangerous conditions and failed to take the appropriate safety steps or preventative actions.
It is critical in these kinds of cases to:
- • Get the names and contact information of the witnesses
- • Take pictures
- • Insist on a copy of the airport incident report
- • Save the boarding pass and itinerary
- • And save any other physical evidence to show the dangerous or defective condition
As it may not always be clear if an injury at an airport was due to the fault of airport authority or the airline, it is important to speak with an attorney. If you or someone you know has been injured while traveling at an airport and there are questions as to what laws apply, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.